Quality in Statistics Education: Determinants of Student Outcomes in Methods & Statistics Education at Universities and Colleges

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9789047300908: Quality in Statistics Education: Determinants of Student Outcomes in Methods & Statistics Education at Universities and Colleges

Although Statistics is not a very popular course according to most students, a majority of students still take it, as it is mandatory at most Social Science departments. Therefore it takes special teacher's skills to teach statistics. In order to do so it is essential for teachers to know what students' attitudes are toward statistics and what factors influence course outcomes. In this study an answer was sought to the question what the effect is of educational (organizational) and student factors on course outcomes with respect to introductory courses Statistics at Dutch and Flemish institutions of higher education. Besides a number of expert interviews, a large-scale field experiment was conducted where pretest- and posttest attitude-data of 2,555 students at 11 institutions were collected. The results of the analyses show that in this study not so much organizational but individual factors affect attitudes towards statistics and student achievement. These factors are self confidence, mathematics experience, gender and age. This thesis concludes with a number of recommendations for teachers to develop and organize their course and motivate their students. Lastly, future research should concentrate on 'teacher quality' a bit more, as this concept remained underexposed in this study. The most important message that I want to transmit is that highly motivated teachers can motivate their students and as a result student achievement will be high irrespective of the topic. Dr. Nel Verhoeven (1961) is a coordinator and teacher of Methods & Statistics at the Roosevelt Academy in Middelburg. She also conducted doctoral research into Statistics Education at universities and colleges (Quality in Statistics Education) and runs the regional Community Research Services Eleanor.

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Verhoeven, Pieternella S.
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